LE “SALESIANE”, UN GRANDE COMPLESSO DI CLAUSURA NEL CENTRO DI PESCIA. DONATO ALLA DIOCESI OLTRE 20 ANNI FA, ATTENDE ANCORA UNA DESTINAZIONE. UNA NOTEVOLE PARTE EDIFICATA MA ANCHE CIRCA UN ETTARO DI GIARDINI ED ORTI.
A Pescia occupa una parte notevole di territorio sulla parte sinistra del fiume, tra il Duomo e la Porta Fiorentina. Se l’Ordine della Visitazione di Santa Maria, fondato nel 1610 da San Francesco di Sales, non avesse lasciato nei primi anni ’90 il complesso alla Diocesi di Pescia, avrebbe potuto celebrare quest’anno 2020 ben trecento anni di presenza. Vistosa come abbiamo detto, pur nella discrezione legata alla vita di clausura. Le “Salesiane” – così sono sempre state definite popolarmente – erano infatti giunte nel 1720, ospitate provvisoriamente in un palazzo di Ruga degli Orlandi.
Il F.A.I. (Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano) scrive nel suo sito che il complesso , “recuperato e messo a disposizione della città, potrebbe essere un meraviglioso luogo per incontri, ospitalità ed attività culturali e sociali per i cittadini di ogni età.”
Photo-news 32: THE FORMER CONVENT OF THE CLOISTERED SALESIAN SISTERS.
A LARGE COMPLEX IN THE CENTER OF PESCIA (TUSCANY). DONATED TO THE DIOCESE OVER 20 YEARS AGO, STILL AWAITS A DESTINATION. WITH A CONSIDERABLE BUILT PART BUT ALSO ABOUT ONE HECTARE OF GARDENS.
In Pescia it occupies a considerable part of the territory on the left side of the river, between the Cathedral and Porta Fiorentina (Florence Gate). If the Order of the Visitation of Saint Mary, founded in 1610 by St. Francis de Sales, had not left the complex to the Diocese of Pescia in the early 90s, it could have celebrated three hundred years of presence in 2020. The “Salesian nuns” – as they have always been popularly defined – had in fact arrived in 1720, temporarily housed in a palace in “Ruga degli Orlandi” street.
The Convent and annexed Church of San Giuliano were then built between 1722 and 1725, on plans by Giovan Battista Foggini.
After this date there had been the relocation, followed by the completion of a remarkable boundary wall, still present and clearly visible especially in the first stretch of “Via degli Orti” (today Vittorio Veneto st.). Walls that offered total privacy to the nuns, at least until the end of the 60s, when some four-storey buildings were raised in that street.
The Church of San Giuliano, to the north of the complex, also represented the trait d’union of the “Salesian nuns” with the city, the Church being open to worship and the rites followed by the Nuns only behind a large grate of “separation”.
Today all the gates are closed waiting, as far as we know, to find a solution. In the past there had been talked of finding a buyer or in any case of a suitable use; about five years ago a redevelopment project was also presented but without subsequent developments. In the meantime, the closure of the huge premises for decades has only made the situation worse.
You can see a series of photos of the exterior of the Convent, the Church of San Giuliano and details, such as the two old plaques that prohibit making “garbage” along the walls, “… as playing, singing and making noise” with a pecuniary penalty or prison …”.
Also photographed the coat of arms on one of the three main doors in Giusti Street, both with some steps. The most used door must have been the other, the one equipped (as you can see in one of the photos) with a “woodpecker” (or iron knocker) to knock on the door of the Convent.
We also present some photos taken in the nice interior cloister in 2014 when the Diocese granted an extraordinary opening, in collaboration with the “Associazione Nottambula”, the “Agricultural Technical Institute” in Pescia, Alberto Andreini and Piero Papini. Many took the opportunity to visit the exhibition “Arts in the Monastery”, to listen to music and enjoy the magnificent view of the Cloister and the garden.
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